Sunshine Coast not-for-profit to help tens of thousands of scam victims with $6.1 million in Federal Government funding

Sunshine Coast not for profit IDCARE will provide specialist services to 54,000 Australian victims of cybercrime over the next four years using $6.1 million in Morrison Government funding. The funding was announced this week by the Minister for Defence, the Hon Peter Dutton MP and local Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace during a visit to IDCARE’s Caloundra HQ.

Minister Dutton said the investment underscored the Coalition Government’s commitment to protecting Australians online.

”Internet connected devices are increasingly part of our everyday lives, which means that cybercriminals are increasingly targeting Australian families and businesses”.

“Our Government is committed to stamping out this kind of activity, and we will continue working with industry partners like IDCARE to ensure all Australians can safely conduct their business online”.

Since its establishment by the Federal Government in 2014, IDCARE has directly supported more than 200,000 Australians, helping reverse the impacts of cyber-crimes from identity theft to the hacking of personal devices.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that demand for IDCARE’s services has increased fourfold since 2015, with hundreds of people on the Sunshine Coast alone seeking support.

“I’m sure we’ve all experienced those fake calls from the Australian Tax Office, or the ads for products that are too good to be true, but every year these scams are getting more sophisticated. The ACCC’s Targeting Scams report found that in 2019 alone Australians lost more than $634 million to these online crimes. Through IDCARE, the Sunshine Coast is leading the way in fighting back.” Mr Wallace said.

A cybercrime is reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) every ten minutes, however we know the majority of incidents go unreported.

“It makes my blood boil to see these crooks trying to steal money from hardworking and often retired Australians. Scams, cybercrimes and identity crimes impact every one of us. This funding is going to help IDCARE to help tens of thousands more Australians to protect themselves online and to pick up the pieces when things do go wrong.” he said.

IDCARE’s services range from brief telephone consultations to complex advocacy and technical assistance ranging across weeks and months of support.     

IDCARE Managing Director David Lacey said this was a “very practical contribution that would make a big difference to the lives of many Australians impacted by these crimes”.

The Morrison Government is making the nation’s largest ever investment in cyber security through its $1.7 billion 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. This includes $1.4 billion over the next decade to enhance the cyber security capabilities and assistance provided to Australians through the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

For more information on the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Centre or how to protect yourself online, visit https://www.cyber.gov.au/ or for more information on IDCARE visit https://www.idcare.org/.

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